Erasmus brings a competitive advantage when entering the labor market

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This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

The EU presents its battery of employment opportunities for young people through four inspiring testimonies.

On the occasion of the celebration of the event "EU & Me: the European Union in four stories", the European Commission analyzed the perception that young Spaniards have of the measures put in place by the European Union to promote youth employment and help young people Europeans to enter the labor market. The results of a survey show that only 24.8% of young people are aware of the EU's funding programs for entrepreneurship and 30% of those supporting volunteering. Given this lack of knowledge, the EU has decided to present its battery of programs for young people, through the testimonies of people who, thanks to the EU, have improved their present and their personal and work future.

During the colloquium, Francisco Fonseca, head of the representation of the European Commission in Spain, has focused on four of the main lines of action put in place to promote mobility and youth employment, such as volunteering, the Erasmus program, aid to young farmers, and support for entrepreneurship. According to his words: "For the European Union, it is a priority to develop programs that improve the training of young people and help them access the labor market. Through all these initiatives, we want to prepare them for the future and give them access to a multitude of opportunities throughout all the countries of Europe."

Four initiatives, four success stories

During the event, four success stories were presented by Spanish young people who have benefited from the different European Union measures, through initiatives such as volunteer programs, Erasmus scholarships, aid to young farmers or of support for entrepreneurship.

1. Entrepreneurship

One of the areas in which the European Union is currently working is the promotion of entrepreneurship, helping young Europeans to carry out their own projects. This is the case of Andrea Sánchez Angulo, who was able to launch Work For Social, a non-profit association that wants to promote the practice of pro-bono and professional volunteering in companies and universities. For this, he had the help of various European Union programs that allowed him to overcome the obstacles he encountered, and according to a survey [i], 96.5% of young Spaniards perceive that, a When it comes to carrying out a project of its own, it will have to face important barriers.

Thus, 23% explain that their biggest problem would be the lack of knowledge on how to create and execute a business plan, while 22% would be afraid of failure and 5.7% would miss the presence of a mentor or a guide. However, as explained by almost half of the respondents, the biggest problem would be the lack of funding, a figure that contrasts with the fact that 75% say they do not know all the funding opportunities offered by the European Union at the time to create your own business. As Andrea Sánchez explains, "When it comes to entrepreneurship, young people face many barriers that can throw back projects with great potential. For this reason, it is important to publicize initiatives such as those that the European Union is implementing to promote entrepreneurship."

2. Volunteering

Another focus of these initiatives is Volunteering, since, according to the survey, 80.33% of the respondents have collaborated or would like to collaborate with a charity organization. In addition, 69.8% believe that the European Union promotes solidarity among citizens, although only 29.7% know the European Solidarity Corps, an initiative that wants to create opportunities for young people to work as volunteers in different projects . In this way, volunteering is revealed, along with Erasmus, as one of the best training options for young people.

After projecting the video with her personal story, Gema Cabezas, former participant of the European Solidarity Corps, summed up her experience: "The European Solidarity Body gave me the opportunity to rethink my professional career. After spending a year as a volunteer in the United Kingdom in a youth association, I discovered my true calling. Now, I want to have my own volunteer association and contribute to a more solidary world."

3. Erasmus

During the meeting they also analyzed the benefits of enjoying an Erasmus program, an experience that, for 78% of respondents, offers a competitive advantage when entering the labor market. Thus, according to that survey, the main value that Erasmus would offer would be the possibility of having a greater command of a second language, as 38.3% of young Spaniards aged between 18 and 35 say. On the other hand, 25.9% emphasize that it allows it to perform better in new environments, while 14.2% appreciate that it offers greater ease when dealing with other people. In this regard, 88% say that the Erasmus initiative helps bring different European cultures closer to all citizens of the Union.

In the words of Juan Rayón, Vice National Representative of Erasmus Student Network Spain: "The Erasmus program is the best cohesion instrument in the history of the European Union, and a key element for the creation of an authentic European citizenship. After their mobility experiences, Erasmus students are more clear about the path they want to follow, find jobs more easily, and value diversity more, feeling more connected to the community project. In addition, they acquire fundamental skills and become better citizens, so that Erasmus benefits the whole society. Investing in Erasmus is to guarantee a better Europe."

For her part, Nathalie Moune Gallo, a former Erasmus student, explained that "the Erasmus in Sweden marked my life. There I was able to meet Alessandro, my current partner and father of my son, Leonardo. It was not a path of roses, but my current life is like this thanks to Erasmus, and I would not change it for anything in the world. It is an experience that I would recommend to everyone."

4. Aid to young farmers

Lastly, measures aimed at young farmers were reviewed, which help tackle challenges such as the depopulation of rural areas, an issue that concerns 80.2% of young Spaniards. Thus, according to the respondents, the agricultural policies of the European Union help to improve the sustainable management of natural resources and tackle climate change (33.7%), to keep rural areas alive and stop depopulation (24%) , to support farmers and improve production (23.4%), and to allow farmers to earn a living (11.2%).

Álvaro Martínez de las Peñas is one of the beneficiaries of these measures and, in his words, "The European Union aid for young farmers allowed me to continue with my father's work and modernize the exploitation. Agriculture was always my hobby and, although I never thought I could dedicate myself to this, now I can work on something that makes me happy and that I enjoy every day. "

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

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Acerca de Lucas Vargas:

  • Empezó en Grupo ZAP como el VP de Sales y en 2016 cuando la empresa tenía 60 empleados. Fue nombrado COO de VivaReal tomando el mando de Brian Requarth el Co-Fundador. VivaReal lanzó en Colombia y se trasladó a Brasil. En 2017 se hizo CEO del Grupo ZAP.
  • Ha trabajado en Mexico en PWC y en el Banco Santander
  • Tiene un Master de Business Administration de Harvard
  • En noviembre este año después de la fusión de OLX Brasil y Grupo ZAP fue nombrado el CEO del OLX Business Unit. Lidera la empresa junto con Andries Oudshoorn y Marcos Leite
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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.